May 22, 2013
Farmers begin 9-day strike
Buenos Aires province farmers started a nine-day freeze on grains and cattle sales today to protest against a tax hike and land reform sponsored by Governor Daniel Scioli.
Scioli managed to push the tax hike through Congress this week despite the earlier reluctance of some lawmakers sympathetic to the farmers' complaints.
He played down the impact of the updated land valuation, which officials say was long overdue, and said only 38 percent of farmers would face a bigger levy.
"As we've said before, we're going to take into account situations of drought or flooding that some producers are suffering," Scioli said on Friday. "We're not going to charge people who can't afford to pay as a result of those circumstances."
"There's a lot of anger in the countryside, not just in Buenos Aires - it goes beyond the province," Eduardo Buzzi, head of the Argentine Agrarian Federation (FAA), said.
Growers belonging to the FARER association in Entre Ríos province said they would halt sales for a week from Sunday to protest a recent tax hike there as well as the broader government agricultural policy